Coming to college, every tour guide talks about how amazing it is for them to live on campus. Although are they really the whole truth? We have come down to some conclusions that living on campus may not be as fun as it seems, especially during times of a pandemic.
We have all been there, where you may have to go to the store, but the car is in the shop, you don’t have gas or maybe you just don’t have a car. Living on campus and not having the proper access to your resources could really make or break the college experience.
Located around the Texas Wesleyan campus there are several areas where students can go and collect food, personal items and more, although the issue is that these stores are not directly located on the campus and are inconvenient to get to without reliable transportation. For on-campus residents, this can be an issue because living alone at a young age is difficult but living without your necessary resources may feel impossible.
The closest grocery store, Walmart, is a five-minute drive from the university, which seems to be very responsible and not out of the way. Without a vehicle to get to the store, tough, it is a 37-minute walk, which for most people is not ideal, especially when carrying groceries back to your dorm.
There are several resources available on or near campus that are within reasonable walking distance from the residential areas at Wesleyan such as: Dora’s, the Martin University Center (MUC), Ben’s Triple B’s, Black Coffee, Subway and the food pantry (located inside the Poly United Methodist Church (PUMC). The issue that is faced with these resources, though, is availability as well as cost efficiency.
At the beginning of each semester residential students, as well as some commuters are required to have meal plans with the university included in their housing package. In meal packages there are a certain number of meals given to the students as well as Ram Bucks, which is specialized money that can be used in the “specialty dinning” options on campus, like the MUC.
The problem is when the money runs out, it is gone, and students have to find their own food methods or eat at Dora’s, which for most residential students is not their first choice. Th next option is going to a grocery store and getting their food of choice, but without reliable transportation this can be a bigger challenge.
We have found that there are several options to get around the Fort Worth community located around Wesleyan: taking the bus that has a stop located in front of the PUMC, riding with a friend or taking a ride-share service like Uber and Lyft. Again, though these methods of transportation can be unreliable and at times expensive.
Taking an Uber can range from $8 to $15 from the university to the local grocery store, and this is just one way. When taking a ride-share service to and from the store, as well as collecting your items one can expect to spend at least $50. This is too expensive for your average college student. The other option of bus taking is much cheaper although the busses that run in Fort Worth are not always on the set schedule that is provided which can be inconvenient.
With the concerns at hand, we believe that the University needs to take action toward this student issue that is going on within the campus. Some residential students do feel as if they are not being taken care of as much since the campus went virtual during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. It seems to them that the campus community culture has been lost.
Therefore, looking for methods to get residential students a reliable way to get their necessary resources without the hassle of trying to find transportation would be a good step in the right direction.
Wesleyan used to have a residential bus that took students places, and we believe this maybe the easiest solution to this problem. Planning out a day once a week where students who need to get to and from the grocery store could meet and they could ride together to pick up the items they need at the store.
Of course, this is not something that is going to happen overnight, but it is a serious topic that the administration needs to consider, because although this campus is mainly occupied by commuters, there are still student who reside on the campus and deserve to feel taken care of as well.